THE KURSK’S FIRST COMPARTMENT HAS BEEN CUT OFF

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Vyacheslav Gudkov Kommersant, September 14, 2001, p. 2

Representatives of the company Mammoet said that the Kursk will be raised on September 25. No one can explained why the operation has been postponed.

Another phase of the Kursk operation ended in the Barents Sea on September 13. The first compartment of the submarine has been cut off. However, Russia has not signed a document which confirms that the bow compartment has been separated from the hull. Representatives of the company Mammoet said that the raising of the Kursk submarine has been postponed from September 15 to September 25.

The last obstacle for separating the first compartment of the submarine was the Kursk’s anchor chain. The cable saw stuck in the box with the anchor chain and the operation was suspended. Divers raised the chain on board the Carrier barge and the operation continued.

Representatives of Mammoet said that the first compartment was separated on September 13. According to the contract the Dutch company had to cut off the first compartment by September 13. It is possible that this is the main reason why the company announced the end of this phase before the official statement by the Russian Navy. However, Russia did not hurry to sign the respective document.

Russian and Dutch representatives held a meeting on board the Mayo ship at 11:00 a.m. on September 11. Neither the Navy nor the Rubin design bureau confirmed that the document is signed by the evening, though Russia did not announce any claims. The staff of the North Fleet said that “this question is just about to be solved”.

At the same time however, Russia confirmed another statement made by Mammoet’s representatives. The Raising of the Kursk submarine has been postponed from September 15 to September 25. The Giant barge will arrive to the site of the operation on September 19. The participants in the operation will need five days to prepare metal ropes. The ropes will be fastened to the submarine on September 24. The Kursk will be raised on September 25. The submarine is to be tugged to the floating dock in Roslyakovo by September 28.

Neither the management of the Rubin design bureau, nor the members of the government commission which investigates the shipwreck have commented on Mammoet’s statement regarding a new timing of the operation. In the meantime, the opening of the international press center in Murmansk has been postponed to an uncertain period (the official reason announced by the Presidential Administration is the tragedy in the US).

Russian deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov and Commander of the Russian Navy Vladmir Kuroedov gave a progress report about the operation to Vladimir Putin on September 13. They noted that the operation has been postponed because of weather conditions. The leaders of the operation gave the president a video film about the operation.

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